Senior managers working in the NHS have enjoyed the largest increase in average basic pay of any NHS employees in the past year – with a rise of 2 per cent - it has emerged.

According to the NHS Information Centre the average basic pay for senior managers increased in the 12 months to September 2012 by £1,459 to £74,654.

Overall basic pay increased, as an average, for all NHS staff by 1.3 per cent in the same period to £29,316, a rise of £379 on the previous year.

Although the average basic pay increased, the rise was smaller than that seen between 2010 and 2011 when pay jumped 2.6 per cent or an average of £722.

The increases in pay shows the effect of incremental pay progression in the NHS which has seen pay bills go up despite two years of a government pay freeze.

Workers on less than £21,000 have also received £250 increases in each of the past two years, further driving up costs for NHS providers.

For hospital doctors, including consultants and registrars, average basic pay increased by 1.4 per cent to £58,456.

Nurses, midwives and health visitors saw their average basic pay rise by just 0.7 per cent to £30,481.

Scientific, therapeutic and technical staff saw basic pay rise 0.4 per cent to £34,354 while clinical support staff saw their basic pay increase 1.6 per cent to £18,351.

Average pay for ambulance staff saw a 0.6 per cent rise to £26,446.

The pay estimates have been made using the Electronic Staff Record system and for the first time use data from over 12 months to improve accuracy.

NHS Information Centre chief executive Tim Straughan said: “As the NHS employs more than a million people in England, its composition is obviously of great interest to the health service and public alike.

“Today’s figures are intended to provide new insight into the average earnings of this workforce, which of course contains a complex mix of differing grades of experience and working patterns.

“Although they are experimental, the figures do point to a small increase in average basic pay for most staff groups between 2011 and 2012.”